If you read any parenting blogs, or follow any bloggers on twitter, then you can't have missed all the recent celebrations for the 30th anniversary of Rod Campbell's excellent book Dear Zoo. Publishers Macmillan have hosted tea parties with author Rod Campbell, complete with interactive storytelling sessions and I was pretty gutted not to be able to attend - I figured that a trip into London when only two weeks off giving birth, and with a toddler in tow, might not be sensible!
Dear Zoo is a fantastic book for sharing with a young child and the simple storyline behind it means that it really is appropriate for children of all ages. Little Miss C has always loved the book and as there are several different versions of it her attention is always held even if she does know what is coming next. It was one of the first lift-the-flap books that she got the hang of and now she loves shouting out what animals come next and also telling me what noises they make. The reasons each animal is rejected is a great way of teaching things like height and size and also some behaviour characteristics. Different coloured containers for each animal also add to the list of things that children can be encouraged to observe as you read the story with them.
To make up for not being able to make it to London for the tea party the lovely publishers send us a bit of a goodie bag containing a copy of the Dear Zoo Noisy Book which LMC is currently loving. Having a new way of bringing to life the animals that she already knows and loves really excites her. I have to admit that I had no idea what a giraffe or a grumpy camel sounded like before, but I do now! Copies of the new Dear Zoo Touch and Feel Book and Dear Zoo Animal Shapes Buggy Book have both been put away for Baby C - especially since the original Dear Zoo buggy book that LMC had is now so well read that I'm not sure it would survive another child!
If you're not familiar with the whole Dear Zoo range then you really should look into it, and if your little one is already a Dear Zoo fan then there's also a new Dear Zoo Shop containing some lovely things - especially if you're after gift ideas.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Dear Zoo goodie bag by publishers Macmillian when I couldn't attend their anniversary tea party.